Are you in compliance?

New regulations at the state level are coming down the pike, and employers will have to comply or potentially lose their business licenses.


The South Carolina legislature has amended the state's "Illegal Aliens and Private Employment" law to require that every employer verify their new hires through the U.S. Department of Homeland Security's E-Verify system beginning January 1, 2012.



James E. Knight, administrator of the Office of Immigrant Worker Compliance within the Department of Labor, Licensing, and Regulation, said it's important for business owners to learn exactly what's required of them, so they do not run into problems.


Knight, whose office is part of the South Carolina Department of Labor, Licensing and Regulation (LLR), will brief Aiken Chamber of Commerce members on the changes in the law and the E-Verify system at the August 5th First Friday Means Business. The LLR Department is charged with conducting random audits of employers to assure compliance.


In the past, employers had three options in verifying new hires, according to Knight. They could either use the federal database, E-Verify, or get a valid driver's license from South Carolina or one of 26 other approved states. The immigration law passed by the state legislature in 2008 gave employers these options, said Knight, who has been with the state's LLR Department for 30 years.


A U.S. Supreme Court decision in May changed all that. The court determined that states could mandate that employers verify new hires, but they could only require employers to do so using the E-Verify system, said Knight.


To stay in compliance and learn more about the new law and E-Verify, join Knight and fellow Chamber members at First Friday Means Business on August 5.


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